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Niger Delta

Bayelsa Govt To Sack 500 Civil Servants

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Bayelsa State Government
under Governor Seriake Dickson has penciled down over 500  civil servants in the state’s civil service for sanctioning following their alleged support for the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) in the just-concluded governorship election in the state.
The Tide gathered this has created tension and anxiety among the civil servants as those to be affected by the proposed sanctions are yet to made known.
Competent source who leaked the plan on Monday said. The  affected civil servants may not receive their salaries for the months of December and January as part of their punishment for being pro-APC during the poll.
Dickson was re-elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), defeating former Governor Timipre Sylva of the APC and Moses Siasia of the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM).
The Independent National Electoral Commission conducted the violence-riddled governorship election on 5 and 6 December 2015, and January 9, 2016.
The government was said to have deployed  ‘a special committee’ in each of the eight  local government areas of the state to ‘take note  of civil servants who are pro-APC’ before and during the election.
It was learnt that the directive to punish the erred servants was based on the report submitted by the ‘special committee’ shortly after the INEC declared Dickson winner of the election on 10 January 10, 2016.
Their names were forwarded to the Due Process Bureau which operates the automated payroll system of the state government for ‘necessary action’.
The directive was said to have emanated from the office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) and routed through the office of the Head of Service (HoS) to the Due Process Bureau headed by Dickson’s Special Adviser on Treasury Matters, Mr. Timi Seipulo, for implementation.
It was learnt that staffers of the state Broadcasting Corporation and the Sport Council were the worst-hit in the action of the government.
One of the affected workers said it was the accountant in their establishment that hinted them about their names missing in the payroll for December and January.
The civil servant, who pleaded anonymity because of “fear of further victimisation”, explained that when they took their complaint to the Due Process last week, they were told to seek clarification at the office of the HoS, Mr.Peter Singabele.
He said the HoS confirmed to them it was “the truth of the matter”.
“After the accountant told us that our names have been removed from the payroll because we had sympathy for the APC, we went to the Due Process and there they told us to go to the HoS.
“On his part, the HoS told us that it is the truth of the matter and that the instruction was from the Secretary to the State Government office”, he said.
When contacted, the HoS declined to comment on the matter over the phone, asking our correspondent, “how do you think I will speak on that kind of matter over the phone”?
But attempts to get his reaction  in his office at press time proved abortive as he was repeatedly said to be busy.

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Niger Delta

Police Kill Five Suspected Kidnappers, Rescue Victim

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Police operatives in Edo State have rescued one Innocent Achebe, 38, from a kidnappers den, killing five suspects in the process.
Achebe was rescued on Sunday in Ughosi-Afe bush in Ibilo, Akoko Edo Local Government Area of the State, where the victim was held in captivity for days.
This is contained in a statement by Deputy Public Relations Officer, Edo Police Command, ASP Jennifer Iwegbu, on Monday in Benin.
She said that the operation was part od the command’s commitment to rid the state of violent crime, including kidnapping.
“This feat was achieved following credible information at the command’s disposal that hoodlums suspected to be kidnappers were operating in Ughoshi- Afe bush, Ibillo in Akoko Edo LGA, Edo State.
“On receipt of the information, the command immediately mobilised its tactical team of operatives from the Ibillo sector in collaboration with vigilantes and hunters to the scene.
“The kidnappers on sighting the operatives opened fire on them which led to a gun duel that left five of the kidnappers fatally injured and were later confirmed dead,” Iwegbu said.
She added that the victim, who was rescued unhurt, had been reunited with his family.
The police spokesperson said two locally made pistols, charms and cartridges were recovered from the scene.
Iwegbu said the Commissioner of Police, Abutu Yaro, commended the gallantry exhibited by the operatives and pledged that the command would work with relevant stakeholders and law-abiding citizens to secure the State.

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Niger Delta

Bayelsa Spends N3.52bn On Debt Service

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Bayelsa State Government said it spent N3.52 billion on servicing its loan obligations to commercial banks for the month of May.
The Tide’s source reports that domestic debt stock data from the Debt Management Office for Bayelsa as of March 31, stood at N151.41 billion.
Technical Adviser to Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State on Treasury Matters, Mr Timipre Seipulo, stated this while giving an update of the state’s income and expenditure profile for the months of May and June in Yenagoa.
According to the financial highlights, the state generated some N1.68 billion from internal sources in addition to a gross inflow of N22.86 billion from the federation account to make a total of N22.91 billion for May.
Of the amount, derivation revenue, a 13 per cent of value of crude oil produced within the state for May stood at N17.82 billion.
On the other hand, non oil revenue of N124.69 million accrued to the state for the month under review.
According to Seipulo, the state’s wage bill for civil servants and political appointees gulped N6.2 billion.
For the month of June, Bayelsa got N18.67 billion after deductions at source from the federation account.
Oil derivation accounted for N14.02 billion, while the internally generated revenue was N1.99 million.
The total wage bill for the month of June was N6.14 billion.

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Niger Delta

Delta Seals Gas Plant Over Student’s Death

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The Delta Government sealed a gas plant over outbreak of seizure leading to the death of a student in a close-by school.
The gas plant closure followed the report of an emergency committee, comprising representatives of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, officials of the Ministry of Health and the management of Mary Mount College.
It was recalled that on July 16, 10 students of Mary Mount College, near Handeskia Gas Plant in Boji-Boji, Agbor, were suspected to have showed signs of strange ailments and seizure due to gas emission.
One of the affected students died few weeks after her parents took her to the hospital.
Mr Godspower Asiuwhu, the state Commissioner for Environment, warned the gas company that stiffer sanctions would be meted on it, if the seal was broken.
“The activities of the company has posed ecological and health threat to students of Mary Mount College, Agbor, situated in the environs.
“The management of Handeskia Oil and Gas should desist from causing havoc to residents of the host community,” Asiuwhu said.
The commissioner frowned at the unruly behaviour of staff of the gas company, saying that the state government would not condone any attempt by the company to unseal the premises.
According to him, a task force will be set up to monitor activities of the gas company after it had been sealed to ensure they did not return back to business.
Also, Mr Victor Ebonka, the Chairman, Ika North East Local Government Area, said the council had earlier sealed the gas company twice, adding that they later went back to unseal the premises.
“Since the activities carried out by the company were endangering the lives of residents, there is every need to seal the gas company and put a stop to all their activities,” Ebonka said.

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